Thailand's Board of Investment has announced its approval for TheraVitae, an Israeli-Thai company, thus paving the way for the company to expand its research and development and provide therapies using adult stem cells.
President of TheraVitae Thailand, Mr Narin Apichairuk, said, "We are delighted to gain BOI approval because it means we can continue with our plans to open a laboratory near Bangkok and proceed with expansion of our services. To date over two hundred no-option heart patients have been treated with our patented product, VesCell, here in the kingdom. This approval means that we are seen by the Thailand government as being transparent and accountable in our operations and thus opens the way for tremendous growth and expansion."
The company can now proceed with planning the world's largest stem cell laboratory. When completed the facility will be able to produce 1000 batches of stem cells per month. At present blood withdrawn from patients has been flown to Israel for the processing of the stem cells into therapeutic numbers.
"The approval also facilitates in easing the requirements to bring in overseas scientists, technicians and state-of-the-art equipment. In the near future we will be able to have a knowledge transfer to local technicians. We will be able to rapidly develop further technology that will have a profound impact on the lives of many who are suffering from severe heart diseases" said Apichairuk.
Stem cell therapy using patients' own blood has been proven beneficial in clinical trials. Around 75 percent of patients are experiencing symptom reduction and are able to take up exercise and activities that were previously denied them because of the nature of their illness.
Many have been told that short of a heart transplant there is nothing more that can be done for them. Their recovery stories after adult stem cell therapy are inspiring many others to seek the help that is available to them right now.
"It is a real privilege to be a leader of an industry that is contributing significantly to the growth of medical tourism in Thailand, which is becoming an important source of revenue for the kingdom. Furthermore, it is deeply satisfying to be at the forefront of research and development into therapies that are truly cutting-edge,” Apichairuk. continued.
“The future is very exciting as more and more diseases are being added to the list of conditions that stem cells are able to help. Regenerative medicine is the future of medicine and we are proud to play a part in its progress.”
A further benefit seen to derive from BOI approval is that the company will be able to attract more investment capital now that its operations have the government's seal of approval. "Approval gives our company credibility in the marketplace," said Apichairuk.
"This means investor confidence, which will fuel expansion and therefore a price reduction. Thus, more patients will be able to be treated at a lower cost. It is our wish also to take adult stem cell therapy into regional hospitals so as to serve all the people of our nation, not just foreign patients. We want to give something positive back to our community," he said.
Theravitae's current list of partner hospitals will certainly expand as the result of BOI approval. At present Thailand partner hospitals include Bangkok Heart Hospital, Chaophya Hospital, the Phaya Thai Hospital group and Praram 9 Hospital. These hospitals bring eminent medical specialists such as Dr. Kit Arom, Professor Supachai and Dr. Eugene Sim as keen advocates of adult stem cell therapy. The company also has a relationship with Singapore's Parkway Hospital group who are using VesCell throughout their group.
BOI approval will spur further growth, development and innovation in bringing the latest technology to aid those suffering from a variety of devastating diseases.